Missed diagnosis cases are relatively common in the UK and Ireland. A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor or other health professional fails to identify and treat a health problem after examining a patient. Missed diagnosis can also occur when a doctor fails to take appropriate steps to deal with the health problem, this can include the failure to refer to a relevant specialist.
We rely on the advice of medical professionals and expect to be properly diagnosed. This is not an unreasonable expectation and if a medical professional has failed to diagnose, has unacceptably delayed a diagnosis or has given an incorrect diagnosis then you may have a claim for compensation.
At P.A.Duffy and Company we appreciate that the damage caused by a missed diagnosis can be irrevocable. Our medical negligence solicitors can offer compassionate legal advice and will establish whether or not a medical professional has been negligent in failing to diagnose a particular illness.
An incorrect diagnosis can arise when a doctor or health professional diagnose their patient with the wrong condition and fail to identify the real source of the patient’s problems. This can be particularly detrimental to patients if they are given a course of treatment or medication to treat an illness, disease or injury* that they do not have.
If you have been unfortunate enough to have received an incorrect diagnosis, whether a medical professional is partially or wholly responsible we will be able to help you proceed with a claim for compensation.
Most illnesses tend to worsen if an early diagnosis does not identify the problem. For example, illnesses such as cancer or diabetes must be diagnosed as early as possible to ensure you receive the most effective treatment possible. Delayed diagnosis is becoming prevalent in the UK in particular due to NHS waiting lists that result in patient’s not being examined by medical experts for as long as two years in some cases. This can inevitably lead to a patients symptoms worsening before they eventually receive treatment.
What constitutes an unacceptable delay will be determined by a variety of complex medico-legal factors, our team of specialist solicitors will take you through the process and help you to make a claim for compensation.
How Do I Claim for Misdiagnosis?
There are a number of factors to consider when making a claim for misdiagnosis. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the claim must be made within 3 years of the misdiagnosis taking place if the claim is being brought in Northern Ireland. If the claim is being brought in the Republic of Ireland the limitation period is 2 years. The date of misdiagnosis is effectively the date when a patient became aware that they have been misdiagnosed (the date of knowledge). A report from the relevant medical expert will often be required to determine not only if there was a misdiagnosis, but also when that misdiagnosis took place.
The second key component of a misdiagnosis claim is determining who is responsible. It is often not immediately clear who the negligent party is, there may also be more than one negligent party. Independent expert evidence can be obtained and the relevant expert will comment on which party or parties have acted negligently, if any. Our medical negligence solicitor’s will then send a letter of claim to the relevant party and liability investigations will commence.
Gathering medical evidence to support your claim is vitally important. Our medical negligence solicitors will obtain all of your relevant medical records, including GP and hospital notes. They will then identify the appropriate medico legal expert to examine you and provide a report on the extent of your injuries and whether there is a causal link between any misdiagnosis and your injuries.
The amount of compensation awarded will depend on each individual claimant’s level of injury and loss. As well as damages for pain and suffering, our solicitors will also claim for any loss of earnings, medical expenses, care costs and any other financial loss suffered as a result of negligence.
The first step is to contact our expert medical negligence solicitors who will assess the merits of your case and advise you on the appropriate course of action.
Complete an online enquiry form. We will always discuss the funding options available to our clients, including; legal aid, litigation insurance, legal expenses cover and private paying.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.